Food Safety, Quality Vital: Government

The government has emphasized the importance of food safety and quality in its efforts to stimulate local markets and exports.

The government has emphasized the importance of food safety and quality in its efforts to stimulate local markets and exports.

Deputy Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Industry and trade, Dr. Shaban Mwinjaka, made the remark recently in Dar es Salaam, when opening a training of trainers workshop on food hygiene and quality assurance.

The eight-day workshop organized by the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS)  and UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO),  follows initiative by a National Food Safety Task Force which agreed that training and technical support initiative was vital for sustainable and effective nationally run programme of technical assistance and training to food chain operators.

Mwinjaka said increasingly, open trade in food and farm products could potentially benefit both consumers and producers through varieties of food, products or new export income earning opportunities.

‘‘Strengthening food safety and quality control systems, including promoting food agricultural and animal husbandry practices and educating consumers about safety and quality are essential requirements for the good health of population in a country,  Mwinjaka said.

On her part, FAO representative to Tanzania Dr. Loulise Setshwaelo, said the emerging health concerns and globalization of trade in food and agriculture have brought problems in food safety.
She said there was a need for food safety regulations and programmes to be robust enough to prevent food-borne diseases and protect the health of consumers both locally and internationally.

‘‘UN would support governments and food enterprises in meeting the requirements of international regulations and standards and assist in their integration into national food control systems and associated legislations,” she said

In his welcoming remarks, the TBS Acting Director General, Leandy Kinabo said food hygiene was increasingly becoming a crucial matter but not always known or taken seriously, despite its importance in life.

The workshop brought together 27 participants from the public sector, academic community and key private sector groups.